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Some patients with dementia may experience delayed-onset PTSD

Date:
July 7, 2017
Source:
Wiley
Summary:
Delayed-onset post-traumatic symptoms in the elderly may be misdiagnosed as falling under the umbrella of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), according to a recent review.
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Delayed-onset post-traumatic symptoms in the elderly may be misdiagnosed as falling under the umbrella of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), according to a recent review.

The review describes three cases where post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms are experienced by patients suffering with dementia long after the original traumatic event.

Considering PTSD in individuals with dementia is important because PTSD is usually associated with working-age adults and is infrequently diagnosed in the elderly. In the early stages of dementia, recognising early life trauma may enable patients to access psychological therapy prior to significant cognitive decline. In patients with more advanced dementias, an awareness of earlier trauma exposure can help clinicians differentiate between delayed PTSD and BPSD in patients suffering with emotional and behavioural disturbances.

"Every patient with dementia has a unique narrative, which if captured in the earlier stages of the disease, enables clinicians and their families to understand the origin of their distress. Therefore, it is important to look for a history of previous trauma in patients with BPSD as this could be due to delayed onset PTSD," said Dr. Tarun Kuruvilla, senior author of the Progress in Neurology & Psychiatry review.


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Materials provided by Wiley. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Clara Martinez-Clavera, Sarah James, Eva Bowditch, Tarun Kuruvilla. Delayed-onset post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in dementia. Progress in Neurology & Psychiatry, July 2017

Cite This Page:

Wiley. "Some patients with dementia may experience delayed-onset PTSD." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 July 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170707070558.htm>.
Wiley. (2017, July 7). Some patients with dementia may experience delayed-onset PTSD. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 22, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170707070558.htm
Wiley. "Some patients with dementia may experience delayed-onset PTSD." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170707070558.htm (accessed February 22, 2024).

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